It’s the hooooolidays. Hello holidays! Cue head scratching to figure out some good things for tweens to do at home!
I work from home which is a holiday blessing and a curse. A blessing because hello kids and a curse because hello kids. My kids are older now and basically self-catering, but when they were younger, I had my work cut out for me.
I couldn’t afford to pop three kids into holiday ‘camp’ (when did a day doing a drawing class become a ‘camp’ and why does it cost $130?), so we either headed out on excursions together or we occupied ourselves at home. It depended on my workload for the day.
Over the years, I gathered lists of loads of things for tweens to do at home to keep them busy. These will hopefully keep your tweens happy at home these holidays. Feeling the joy and loving each other… as siblings always do. ROFL.
Useful mega-list of things for tweens to do at home
Hunt and gather
1. A photography challenge is all kinds of good fun.
2. A simple shades of colour hunt.
3. Make a nature mandala
4. Nature treasure hunt for readers (with poem).
5. The colours of nature hunt.
6. Make a summertime observational walk around the garden.
7. A hunt to photograph all the colours of the rainbow.
8. Take a counting number find walk (mostly suits younger tweens).
9. A riddle scavenger hunt.
10. Hide favourite object in the backyard and get your sibling to search for them. Provide clues only if absolutely necessary.
11. This scientific treasure hunt is just gorgeous.
12. Create a treasure map and X hits the spot!
13. Tally up the number of times you find things on your list.
14. This is a really clever hunt to capture sweet childhood moments on video.
15. A Follow the string treasure hunt is so imaginative.
16. An alphabet treasure hunt is fun for all ages.
17. A noun scavenger hunt.
18. Try a deck of scavenger hunt cards.
19. A pictorial take on a hunt, great for any age.
20. Take it to the next level with a scavenger hunt journal.
21. I only hesitate with this one because of the thought of putting it all away again later.
22. Including an artist’s pallet is a cute take on a colour hunt.
23. Sticking the list to a paper bag makes good sense.
24. Theme your hunt to make it fun – here’s a pirate version.
25. A hunt for textures is a neat spin.
26. I remember finger knitting as a kid.
27. Take old stuff apart.
28. My MIL gave the kids a huge jar full of buttons, so this button tree might be fun.
29. Playing a pen-and-paper game looks good
30. Make a 3D comic book
31. Easy leftover-Christmas paper collaging
32. Making blackboard play good fun
33. Indoor snowball fight (hopefully more like a snowball get-along than a fight)
34. Cut outs are great and Felix the Fox is pretty much irresistible.
35. A whole toilet roll people town would be good (we certainly seem to produce enough tubes!)
36. Nature cut outs and journalling.
37. Make butterflies out of straws and pegs.
38. Curate a post-it note gallery.
39. Weave a friendship bracelet on a loom.
40. Or try making something out of felt.
41. Settle them in with a ‘talking book’.
42. Play with their glitter playdough.
43. Write in their holiday journals.
44. Build a colourful cardboard house.
45. Make some way cute popsicle people.
46. Work on their fairy garden.
47. Build Paris.
48. Do a little cloud gazing.
49. Hang a tag on the grateful tree.
50. Make some milk carton lanterns (we can use the battery-op mini-Christmas lights to light them up!).
51. Create a yarn trail that leads to a few treasures.
52. Build a Minecraft fort
53. Do some mud target practice (using homemade chalk to draw the targets, of course!).
54. When the fireys say it’s okay, we’ll be lighting the bonfire.
55. Make a bird feeder and consult the bird book to identify any visitors.
56. Create a backyard ball run.
57. Go on a photo challenge hunt.
58. Have a go at nature sorting.
59. Make a sun dial that works.
60. Grow something.
61. Play a little ‘mystery sound’.
62. Draw an amazing chalk world.
63. Collect some pebbles to make these owls.
64. Go on a creature hunt.
65. Create a backyard obstacle course.
66. Get into cloud appreciation.
67. Make a shaving cream slip and slide (should have filed this one under ‘messy’!)
68. Try a spot of nature weaving.
69. Go on a backyard camping trip.
70. Make a mud pond (if I dare!)
71. Draw our shadows.
72. Give sheet painting a go.
73. Start a nature journal.
74. Feed the birds.
75. Make a bow and arrow (maybe).
Pick some more things for tweens to do from this list.
76. Make some oobleck
77. Ooze into rubber slime
78. Make some glitter slime
79. Try your hand at bees’ wax wraps
80. Play with shaving cream
81. Make some paper
82. Draw on the driveway with fizzy chalk paint
83. Do the puffy paint thing
84. Try your hand hand at explosive art
85. Paint something other than your nails
86. Use salt for painting… interesting!
87. Glue some beans
88. Rock and roll the paint
89. Make some salt dough beads
90. Bake some monster bread
91. Bake our fave honey jumbles
92. Construct a bouquet of fruity flowers
93. Bake some face biscuits
94. Make Jamie pizzas!
95. Make a worm farm
96. Plant some vegies
97. Have a giant colour fight
98. Build a fort
99. Plant some bulbs
100. Try some tie dye
101. Construct an elaborate indoor mini-golf course.
102. Spend the time making a summer fun jar.
103. Create an elaborate geometric puzzle.
104. Make mini worlds in shoeboxes.
105. Do an indoor shape scavenger hunt (we do love a scavenger hunt!)
6. Write some “old-fashioned” letters.
107. Make scones and stage an afternoon tea party.
108. Choreograph some dance moves.
109. Listen to an audio book.
110. Get stuck into the housework (they love it, no really…)
111. Try some marshmallow and toothpick construction.
112. Make some recycled rubbish people.
113. Put on a puppet show
114. Write a short story and illustrate it.
115. Play with our socks.
116. Set up an indoor obstacle course.
117. Strike a few yoga poses.
118. Try “eye bombing”.
119. Build a fort under the kitchen table.
120. Read some books together.
121. Create a mural for the bedroom wall.
122. Bake some health rusks.
123. Get out the hama beads.
124. Play indoor balloon tennis.
125. Shoot some marshmallow guns (maybe).
What’s are your tweens favourite activities at home?
Images by Annie Spratt